On May 22 we celebrate International Biodiversity Day, which this 2023 has as its motto From agreement to action: rebuilding biodiversity. Biodiversity, also known as biological diversity, encompasses the wide range of organisms that inhabit our planet and its complex natural structures that have developed over billions of years.
It is the concept that encompasses all the species that make up the vital sustenance of the Earth: a combination of vegetables, animals, insects and fish that form the ecosystems in charge of providing us with food, pure water, air and energy.
On this day, the importance of biodiversity for human beings and the need to care for and preserve it for future generations is claimed.
The background of this celebration goes back to the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, when 196 countries signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which entered into force the following year. A few years later, in 2000, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
World Biodiversity Day, also known as the International Day for Biological Diversity, is celebrated annually on May 22. The day serves as a global celebration to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and the need to protect and conserve Earth’s diverse ecosystems and species.
The history of World Biodiversity Day dates back to December 29, 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly designated December 29 as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
In the year 2000, the General Assembly of the United Nations officially declared May 22 as the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB). This significant date was chosen to commemorate the adoption of the initial text of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on May 22, 1992. The CBD has played a crucial role in involving almost all countries as participants, which has led to the conservation of many areas. around the world as protected areas and biodiversity hotspots.
During the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in the year 2000, the delegates made the decision to change the date of the celebration from December 29 to May 22. The objective was to avoid conflicts with other festivities and allow greater participation of the countries.
Why is this important?
People from all over the world gather to celebrate World Biodiversity Day, also known as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB), every year on May 22. This important occasion serves as a global platform to raise awareness and promote actions for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Biodiversity encompasses the remarkable variety of life on Earth, including plants, animals, microorganisms, and the ecosystems they form. It plays a vital role in maintaining the health and functionality of our planet’s ecosystems, providing a multitude of essential services such as clean air and water, pollination, soil fertility, climate regulation, and food security.
World Biodiversity Day is important for several reasons:
Raising Awareness: The day draws attention to the value and importance of biodiversity for human well-being and the health of our planet. It helps educate people about the threats facing biodiversity and the need for its conservation.
Promotion of conservation: World Biodiversity Day encourages individuals, communities, organizations and governments to take action and implement conservation measures. It highlights the importance of protecting endangered species, conserving habitats and adopting sustainable practices to ensure the long-term survival of biodiversity.
Sustainable Development: Biodiversity conservation is closely linked to sustainable development. By safeguarding biodiversity, we can achieve a balance between human needs and the preservation of ecosystems. World Biodiversity Day emphasizes the integration of biodiversity considerations into development plans, policies and practices.
Theme for this year’s international day
The theme of this year’s international day, “From Agreement to Action: Rebuilding Biodiversity”, highlights the need to translate the recently established Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) into concrete steps.
As we examine the framework, we need to consider its four goals and 23 targets that we must achieve by 2030. It becomes vital for us to draw lessons from past experiences, specifically the failure to meet the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in 2011. Our approach should be in ensuring an effective implementation this time.
With approximately one million animal and plant species threatened with extinction, urgent action is imperative. The GBF sets a timeline of just seven years to meet its targets, underscoring the need for swift and decisive action. However, implementation challenges have already arisen that require attention and resolution.
The transformative milestones achieved by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) deserve recognition for their profound impact on nations around the world. A significant breakthrough occurred in 2022 when the CBD adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
The visionary framework outlines four long-term goals for 2050 and covers 23 urgent goals that we must achieve by 2030. It presents an ambitious roadmap for implementing comprehensive actions that will revolutionize our societies’ relationship with biodiversity by 2030 and, ultimately, materialize the shared vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050.
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